National Exposure for Black Female Photographers Group

A national movement began in Nashua, with one click of Kym Scott's mouse.

Kym Scott has been there and, as a direct result, done that.

Where she's been was lost under the weight of life and looking for inspiration, feeling the blues of post-partum depression and not sure how to find her way out.

Then a friend loaned her a camera, and it set her free.

In the years that followed, Scott's creative spark caught fire. She earned a certificate from Boston University Center for Digital Imaging Arts and launched an art gallery here in Nashua, which doubles as her studio.

But it's the "done that" part that has been so transformative. Three years ago Scott was inspired to exercise her own artistic voice to help others answer the call to creativity.

Launching the Black Female Photographers Group seemed like a small gesture at the time, says Scott.

"It was one click of the mouse. I can still remember it. I was talking with my husband, saying I felt a need to do something. And then I said, 'I think I'm going to start a group,' and he said, 'Do it,' and I said, 'Yeah, I'm gonna do it.' And then I did it. There wasn't any lightning or anything, but I had no idea three years ago that it would grow into a national thing."

On Saturday Scott, who has been in California for about a month on family business, participated in a West Coast version of the widespread "photo fellowship," going on around the country.

National Black Female Photographers Day took shape initially as a day of unity, and encouragement. But it developed into a day of inspiration and sharing.

Scott put out the call to her group's 600 members, who organized art walks in cities and towns around the country, including eating lunch together to talk about all they'd seen and heard together.

"We had an overwhelming response, more than 150 women participated in about 15 cities around the country," Scott said.

She said the urge to start a group specifically to nurture black female photographers was a natural response to the lack of such a group.

"Photography is a male dominated industry, as many industries are. But photography is one area where I didn't see many black women out there, and so I wanted to create a group where we could all come together and be unified; to know we could share our knowledge and experience," Scott said.

"It's also about making sure that it's known that we have the same level of craftsmanship and dedication to our work as any other gender or race would have. It's about leveling the playing field," Scott said.

Organizing an even of national scope has been exhilarating.

"It was like a calling I had. I thought about it and wondered if I started this group would there even be much of a reaction. I knew there had to be a lot of black females out there thinking the same thing I was thinking," Scott said. "I've been overwhelmed by the response."

It's also given her courage.

"This has helped me to make sure that I can give the other ladies in the group the opportunity to transform someone else's life, even in just some small way. We all need to be role models for our young women, so they can see areas where they can have a viable contribution to arts and an elevated way of thinking, and both can come together in a viable way for them to make a living," Scott said.

"When I see all these women out there who've found the group, and how they are lifting one another up, and doing the things that they thought they couldn't do, that gives me courage," Scott said. "That encouragement within the group spills over into the rest of our lives."

Belinda Brewer September 18, 2012 at 03:15 PM
I am one of the photographers from Houston TX.who participated in the event...I'm thankful for Kym Scott God has appointed and anointed her for such a time as this...I feel after the fellowship I experienced with my fellow coharts from Houston that nothing is impossible.Kym thanks for making a difference in my life!!!!I have a new out look on this craft/gift thats called Photography!!!Sisterhood Rocks!!!Tomayia Montgomery was and awesome Team Leader....Shouts Out to her...Kym you are loved!!!Thanks for giving me hope!!!
Carol Robidoux September 18, 2012 at 04:13 PM
Thanks for your comment, Belinda. Kym is an inspiration and well-loved here in Nashua. Glad you could participate in the event, which sounds like it will become a great annual gathering.


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